Do you know what you are looking at here?
You are looking at fond memories!
This is a hood off an old vehicle. It has been undisturbed now for years, hiding in the grass on a Montana farm, about 10 miles from the Canadian Border. This is the farm where my husband, Mike, grew up. This is the farm where he worked hard but played hard as well.
This hood was used for a magnificent sled for Mike and his sisters. I'm guessing some kids from neighboring farms enjoyed it as well. Mike's dad would hook it up behind their pick-up, let the kids climb on, and pull them around for a ride! That sounds kind of dangerous to us now in our safety-conscious world, but I'm sure he was careful... pretty sure.
Mike looks at that hood and it instantly brings him back to a precious time in his life. It was a time when he didn't have the responsibility of a whole congregation resting on his shoulders. He didn't have people come to him in distress, unable to pay their rent or buy groceries for their children. It was a time when no one looked to him to help them recover a damaged marriage. It was a time when his Dad was alive and Mike's goal of each day was to have FUN! It was a time that built him up, gave him roots and prepared him for his future work.
This makes me think about the responsibility we have as we raise children. I'm afraid I didn't "play" enough with our kids. If I had it to do over, I'd be a lot more fun I think. That time of childhood goes by so quickly, but those memories, if they are wholesome and good, can be called up and give strength many years later.